DS Exclusive: Jared Hart on Mercy Union’s unorthodox origin and the road to “The Quarry”

When last we caught up in any official capacity with Jared Hart, the New Jersey native was somewhere in Florida in the midst of a support run, opening up for Frank Iero’s project at the time. Hart was mere weeks away from the release of his full-length debut solo album, Past Lives and Pass Lines, a collection of songs that were written over the previous handful of years that didn’t really fit the anthemic, street punk stylings of his “day job” band, The Scandals.

At the time, prevailing wisdom seemed to be that Hart would try to settle into a groove of spending six months a year working with The Scandals and six months a year working on solo activities, achieving some semblance of perfect creative balance. And while Hart has stayed steadily busy over the course of the last three years, it’s safe to say that the bulk of that work has not exactly gone as planned. Early 2016 brought with it the start of what turned out to be a year or so on the road across most of the globe as part of Brian Fallon’s backing band, The Crowes, in support of Fallon’s own debut solo album, Painkillers. Then there was the release of the stellar, Fallon-produced Scandals EP, Lucky Seven. Then there were solo European dates for Hart, a follow-up solo EP featuring reworked tracks from Past Lives + Pass Lines, scattered Scandals dates, and a few shows filling in on guitar for fellow Jersey punks Lost In Society.

In the process of working on ideas for what would theoretically be a second solo full-length, Hart would reconnect with an old Jersey musical acquaintance: Benny Horowitz, best noted for his work in The Gaslight Anthem, but also part of other noteworthy projects like Bottomfeeder, Wax Bottles and Antarctigo Vespucci. “I had a good handful of songs and a handful of riffs that were starting to come together,” explains Hart. At one point, I hadn’t seen Benny in a while, and he was saying “come by, we’ll get coffee or lunch, or if you want to jam or something, you could bring a guitar…” It seemed like he wanted to stretch it out a little bit, so I was like “you know? Fuck it, I’ll bring the guitar over and we’ll see what happens.”

Once the duo got together, things progressed quickly. Perhaps unusually quickly. “Immediately, we were fleshing out a full song,” says Hart. “He was like “what have you got?” and I pulled a riff that I had forever out, and then all of a sudden there was a structure, and there were these parts, and things he was playing were making my guitar go a certain way, and I remember thinking “this is interesting…this doesn’t usually go like this.”

What became apparent seemingly early on is that the new music the pair were creating wasn’t new solo music, and it wasn’t new Scandals music; it was becoming its own thing. “As the riffs kept coming, Benny was like “you know, we have a record here. Should we do an EP?” says Hart, explaining that he was initially gunshy to bring in old material he’d had in the bank and risk messing with the collaborative, spontaneous jamming. Eventually, he relented. “And I was like “well, I have all these other songs too…” So we started jamming on those, and then all of a sudden, after a couple months, we had a full-length.”

As it became apparent that the new music was a new project, that meant that the new project needed new members. “It was just me and Benny (at first) and we had all these songs, and we got to say who we wanted to play with us. And I was like, oh, fuck…that’s usually not a question that gets asked, usually you have the band all there first (before developing music).” Hart and Horowitz recruited fellow Garden Staters Rocky Catanese and Nick Jorgensen to the mix. Catanese, himself a veteran of the criminally-underrated Let Me Run, has been a friend and collaborator of Hart’s for years, so including him in the new band only made sense. “Our first tour together was in 2012,” Hart explains. “I used to fill in for Let Me Run once in a while, he has filled in for EVERYTHING that I’ve ever needed…any time the Scandals needed something, he’d hop in, and we’ve always just kind of had each other’s backs in that sense.” So I said well “of course Rocky has to be in it, because he’d be filling in anyway!”

When it came time to get their new material recorded, the newly-formed quartet holed up with none other than Pete Steinkopf at Little Eden studio in Asbury Park. Catanese and Jorgensen put their own respective touches on the music that Hart and Horowitz had crafted, and the recording process moved efficiently. Each of the band’s members has had experience in bands playing fairly diverse sounds within this punk rock realm, but Hart says there was never a discussion about musical directions when it came to the new project. “I wanted to make a record that I wanted to hear. I felt like I was lacking hearing some of these songs myself, and even just the sound of it, where it sounds sometimes like you’re in the room with the band playing…that’s kinda what I wanted to be able to do. I’m super proud of that,” he explains. “The actual process of writing and recording was really cathartic to do it like that. To not worry and to not stress and to let it just kinda roll…The only reason that something sonically or tonally or structurally got changed was how it fit into the context of all of the other songs (on the record), not anything outside of that. That was really fun to do.”

As the recording process was winding down with Steinkopf, and before Hart would leave for a solo run through Europe, the band got word that they’d landed a spot opening up a handful of dates for Racquet Club on the veritable super-group’s first real US tour. Initially billed as “Jared Hart with Full Band,” it wasn’t until Hart was overseas, their album already in the bag, that the band settled on a name. “Picking the name was probably the hardest thing of this whole project. That was the most anxiety I’ve had in general,” laughs Hart. “I was in Europe. We had a day off, and I had to pull over and just sit there. We made the name and I sent the t-shirt design in the same day. I sent it in to get printed that day and I had like a full-blown panic attack about the name. Because now it was done, it was printed. They sent me a picture of the screen blown out, and I was like “oh my god, what if this isn’t good?” My cousin is 18, and he was sitting in the passenger seat and he was like “dude, it’s fine!” I had my head against the steering wheel like “I’m not good with change and this is so permanent.” He had to kinda talk me off the ledge there.”

That name, of course, is Mercy Union. The band are slated to release their debut full-length, The Quarry, next month. And their doing it themselves via Hart’s newly minted Mount Crushmore Records. Evoking his mom’s “if you want something done right, do it yourself” motto, Hart determined that releasing the album on their own made the most sense, however nerve-wracking an endeavor that might be. “Starting this label up and trying to do everything the right way and through the right channels…that aspect of it has been stressful. But the band part of it and the record and the songs has been way less stressful than anything else…I know that if something goes wrong, it’s going to be my fault, and I prefer it that way.” Hart determined that he’d acquired enough experience over his fifteen years in the music business to make it work, not only for himself but for other friends that might have music to put out down the road. “I want to learn how to do this right and be prepared for whatever comes down the line. I’ve been talking about it for years, to have an outlet for friends to be able to share their music when they can’t get anybody to put their shit out.”

The dozen songs that make up The Quarry have some familiar notes, but those notes combine in a way that produces a new and unique sound, which was exactly the point. “As a writer, I’ve never been able to totally force songs into molds, and that can be a hard thing about being in a punk band that’s strictly a punk band or a pop-punk band or whatever you want to call it. When you step too far out of that realm, everyone’s like “whoa, what are you doing here?” Hart formed The Scandals almost a decade-and-a-half ago and it’s been his baby ever since. But there aren’t songs on The Quarry that would fit in the Scandals catalog, or even that would have fit well on Past Lives + Pass Lines. “(These songs) couldn’t be forced into that mold, and I don’t think that would be fair to any of us. With that kind of music, it’s easy to tell when something is forced, and I love that band and I love those guys and I can’t just force a record that sounds like everything else.”

Mercy Union’s forthcoming debut album, The Quarry, due out October 19th on Mt. Crushmore Records. Pre-order bundle options are available here, but they’re going fast, which is a welcome sign to calm the potential nerves of a new project. “It’s kind of always been a fear of mine, to start something from the very beginning,” Hart says. “I started The Scandals in 2004, and just the sheer sense of that you’re going to do this whole new thing out of nowhere was daunting, but sometimes you just need to stop and take a breath of fresh air and see what happens.” 

Head below to check out our full Q&A!

 

Jay Stone (Dying Scene): So this is the first time back out on the road for you on a longer run in a while.

Jared Hart (Mercy Union): Yeah, the first longer run (in a bit) and it’s making me more anxious than it normally does, just for the sake of that I’m so in the groove here. I’m packing up, and the dogs are getting all bummed because they see the bags coming out. I’m like “fuck, this kinda sucks!”

Do you feel like they know? Like they get what’s happening when they see the suitcases?

A thousand percent. Especially the oldest one, she gets BUMMED!

I guess I never really thought of that before.

Yeah, they get super bummed. And I think they pick up on (Hart’s longtime girlfriend) Casey’s vibe too, and then I get anxiety, so I think we’re all feeding off that leading up to it. But once I’m on the plane I’m good. I’ll have a drink and we’ll be on our adventure. It’s just the lead-up to it that bums me out.

And it doesn’t seem to get easier, yeah?

You know what? It’s easier when that’s the routine. That year out with Bri (Brian Fallon) where we were like home for three days and then back out again, it’s almost like “okay, back to work!” when we rolled out. When there’s that much time in between, and you’re in the groove of being home and hanging, especially coming off the summer…I love the summer. So now the weather’s changing… it usually takes me about twelve hours and I’m in the groove again though.

It’s just you and Rocky on this run, yeah?

Yeah, just the two of us. We’ve got a couple friends that’ll be playing a couple dates along the way, but it’s just us powering through.

Are you both doing full solo sets, or are you going to team up to do some Mercy Union stuff?

Yeah, definitely; what we usually do is Rocky will open, play a little bit, then I’ll come up and we’ll do some stuff together, and we’ll kinda just feel out the room. We’ve done a couple tours together where there have been nights that are so fun that once I get up there he just stays up there and plays every song with me, which is really fun. It’ll be a cool thing; it’ll be something different for over there, no one has seen us do that over there, so I think kids will dig it. Me and him feed off each other pretty well.

How long have you guys been playing together off and on in various different endeavors?

Our first tour together was in 2012, so pretty nonstop since then. I used to fill in for Let Me Run once in a while, he has filled in for EVERYTHING that’ I’ve ever needed…any time the Scandals needed something, he’d hop in, and we’ve always just kind of had each other’s backs in that sense. It made sense with Mercy Union; it was just me and Benny (at first) and we had all these songs, and we got to say who we wanted to play with us. And I was like, oh, fuck…that’s usually not a question that gets asked, usually you have the band all there first. So I said well “of course Rocky has to be in it, because he’d be filling in anyway!” (*both laugh*)

I feel like I’ve been asking a lot of people a similar question lately, but is this a different level of anxiety than usual when it comes to putting an album out? Does this feel different than a Scandals album or than your solo stuff because of the nature of the project?

I would say it’s definitely different, but less (anxiety) in a lot of ways. The only thing that’s been more (anxiety-provoking) is that this is the first time I’m really putting out a proper release myself. Starting this label up and trying to do everything the right way and through the right channels…that aspect of it has been stressful. But the band part of it and the record and the songs has been way less stressful than anything else. I think it’s just the sense of getting used to it and realizing that that stress isn’t going to help anything. If people aren’t going to like it, they aren’t going to like it. When we made this record, I purposefully put the thought in my head that I’m making the songs that I want to hear and I’m not going to worry about anything else. I want them to come out how they are in my head, and I totally feel like in the studio we did that. At the end of the day, this record is something I hold in my hand and I’m super proud of it. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to do that personally, in my own experience and growth of not stressing as much as I used to.

Let’s talk a little bit about the origin story of Mercy Union and how you guys really came together, and especially the writing process, which is something I’m always interested in. You were writing for “solo album number two” when this all started and changed somewhere along the line, yeah?

Yeah. I guess almost like a year-and-a-half or two years ago now, I had a good handful of songs and a handful of riffs that were starting to come together. At one point, I hadn’t seen Benny in a while, and he was saying “come by, we’ll get coffee or lunch, or if you want to jam or something, you could bring a guitar…” It seemed like he wanted to stretch it out a little bit, so I was like “you know? Fuck it, I’ll bring the guitar over and we’ll see what happens.” Immediately, we were fleshing out a full song. He was like “what have you got?” and I pulled a riff that I had forever out, and then all of a sudden there was a structure, and there were these parts, and things he was playing were making my guitar go a certain way, and I remember thinking “this is interesting…this doesn’t usually go like this.”

Do you remember which song came first? Is it one that made it on The Quarry?

The very first one might have been “Accessory.” There were like three that we did in the first couple weeks of hanging out, and a couple of them aren’t on it, but “Accessory” was one of those that just flowed. We just kept getting together. At first, I had some songs that were fully done, like “Layovers” was demoed and done. “Twenty Seven” was demoed and done. Those were the first two that I had ready to go for the next thing, so I was kinda holding those, because I thought “well, these are done, I don’t really want to ruin the idea of the jam and collaborating…” And then as the riffs kept coming, Benny was like “you know, we have a record here. Should we do an EP?” And I was like “well, I have all these other songs too…” So we started jamming on those, and then all of a sudden, after a couple months, we had a full-length.

During that process, do you think that his mindset was that he’s, you know, “helping Jared with solo album number two,” or did this seem like something different?

I think that the songs that we were writing together was already something different. We tried to not bring that aspect up, and decided to just organically see where it goes. The best thing about this band is that everyone is comfortable expressing themselves and bringing up a topic that some people might feel uncomfortable with or whatever, and the conversation is always really good…so it was just like “okay, what are we doing with this? What is the plan?” And I was like “I don’t know…” I was kinda trying to find where I belonged in all of this and figure out what I was supposed to do. At first, we talked about just doing an EP; just doing five songs and if we couldn’t tour, we couldn’t tour, at least we’d have those songs on paper. And then it became “well, shit, why would we do that? We already have twelve songs?” Towards the end of it, Rocky and Nick came in and wrote a lot of their parts. Like, “Chips and Vics” and “Silver Dollars” were some of the last things we worked on. I think we ran through “Chips and Vics” once before we recorded it. I was like “I’ve had this riff forever, I really don’t want it to not make this record.” So we just hammered it out in like a day and that’s how it ended up.

And then all of a sudden it’s the lead single on the album!

I know! I love that song!

I’m interested that “Silver Dollars” is one of the last things you wrote, too. I really, really like that song a lot. There’s a handful of songs on this album that are right up there among my favorite of your songs already.

I’ve had that riff for so long. I think I have a cassette tape with the original lineup of The Scandals jamming on that riff…that chorus riff…and I just never had a melody for a long time. Eventually had a melody in my head forever, but I didn’t write the lyrics until the night before I went into the studio and recorded it. It just hit me, and I was like “I get it now, I get what I want it to be about.” I was having such a hard time lyrically with it, and I remember looking at Casey across the room and going “okay!” And I got up and left and the whole thing was one of those weird moments. I was stressing, and I was thinking “I’m going to walk in (to the studio) and Pete’s going to be like “sooooo….what are we doing?” (*both laugh*) There’s a lot of fun, weird moments on this record that haven’t happened before, which is cool.

Did you guys have to have a talk about a musical direction, or making sure that you’re not treading ground that you’ve been down in other projects, whether in yours or Benny’s or Rocky’s especially? Did you talk about having a different sound than all that?

That conversation never happened. In my head, the biggest thing is that I wanted those songs to sound how they sound (in my head) and how I’m hearing them, and I don’t want to cater to anything except the record. The only reason that something sonically or tonally or structurally got changed was how it fit into the context of all of the other songs (on the record), not anything outside of that. That was really fun to do. I totally hear what you’re saying, and there was once or twice where the thought might have crossed my mind with a particular melody, but I said “you know what, that’s just how it is. That’s how that song sounds.”

You guys have all been involved with a lot of different projects that have a lot of different sounds, so I find it interesting or compelling that you were able to find…I think the first press release that came out had a line along the lines of “there’s something familiar about this sound, but you haven’t heard this before.”

Yeah, and that’s kind of how I was feeling when we were making it. I wanted to make a record that I wanted to hear. I felt like I was lacking hearing some of these songs myself, and even just the sound of it, where it sounds sometimes like you’re in the room with the band playing…that’s kinda what I wanted to be able to do. I’m super proud of that. And it’s one of those things where if someone says “that’s not what I’m into…” well, that’s how it was supposed to sound, you know? That’s a fun thing. We tried not to overthink anything, for the first time…

Easier said than done?

It was more the part about what to do with it after where I had to keep telling myself (not to overthink it). The actual process of writing and recording was really cathartic to do it like that. To not worry and to not stress and to let it just kinda roll.

The first shows that you guys did on the Racquet Club run…those were the first official Mercy Union shows, right?

Those were the first ones under the name of Mercy Union. The first two shows with this lineup were actually backing me opening for Dave (Hause) I believe. That’s how we incorporated a few songs off the solo record into the Mercy Union set. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing, so everyone learned like eight songs and we ripped through it. And then everyone was like “oh shit, let’s keep this rolling!” And it really helped with playing shows as Mercy Union, because kids were coming out and actually knew a couple of the songs in the set already, so there was already a connection. It was a surprisingly fun thing to have the transition go like that. A lot of people were like “this is confusing,” but I was like “this is just how it went! This is the natural process of how this thing happened.” It was sort of wacky but it really worked.

It is a unique experience it seems to sort of form a band and to have songs and to play some good shows before people know the guys in the band but not the actual material yet. That’s not really a common experience that you’ve had, starting from scratch.

Yeah, and it’s kind of always been a fear of mine, to start something from the very beginning. I started The Scandals in 2004, and just the sheer sense of that you’re going to do this whole new thing out of nowhere was daunting, but sometimes you just need to stop and take a breath of fresh air and see what happens. It was interesting in that sense to go on tour, and to announce the name of the band on tour. It was wild. But it’s also been really fun.

I think we (Boston) were the first show on that Racquet Club run if I’m not mistaken.

Yeah, we were still finding our sea legs. It was funny, because I got so used to how to move left and right on stage, and then all of a sudden there’s two new people, and it’s like “oh shit, I’ve got to relearn the dance moves!” (*both laugh*)

Did you have most of the album written by that point or did some of this stuff come after those handful of shows?

The album was recorded at that point.

Was it really?!?

Yeah, I think it was getting mixed and mastered when we left for that. I remember that we sat on the porch at Pete’s when I got the call that we got that support run. We were recording when we got that run, and it was originally billed under my name but with a full band. Sergie from Samiam has been a friend, and a mutual friend of a lot of our buds, so that’s kind of how that worked out. It’s funny to tell them like two days before tour “oh, by the way, this is the name of the band now.” (*both laugh*) They were totally cool about it, and there couldn’t have been a better situation of dudes to just be like “yeah, cool! Rip it!” Then we did that John Nolan tour and we’ve done a few one-offs since. Picking the name was probably the hardest thing of this whole project. That was the most anxiety I’ve had in general.

Yeah, I mean I guess you want to make it count. But so you picked the name for the project after the album was already recorded?

Yeah!

That’s funny to me. I hadn’t realized the timeline before.

Yeah, I was in Europe the last time when we picked then name. We had a day off, and I had to pull over and just sit there. We made the name and I sent the t-shirt design in the same day. I sent it in to get printed that day and I had like a full-blown panic attack about the name. Because now it was done, it was printed. They sent me a picture of the screen blown out, and I was like “oh my god, what if this isn’t good?” My cousin is 18, and he was sitting in the passenger seat and he was like “dude, it’s fine!” I had my head against the steering wheel like “I’m not good with change and this is so permanent.” He had to kinda talk me off the ledge there. (*both laugh*) But after sitting on it, I’m into it! (*laughs*)

Did you have to tell the other guys in the band what the band was named….

Oh no, it was a mutual decision. All four of us were a part of that. We all went “okay, this is it.” on our group text while I was in Europe. It was like “okay, everyone’s cool? Yup. Yup. Check.” And we went through so many. It’s so hard…how many names are taken at this point? And we wanted to try to find something that embodied how the record got made and the process and the organic way it happened. I’ll never forget officially sending it off and just being like “hooooly shit, this is what it is now.” But it definitely is the best one we had in that list. I’ve looked at it again… (*both laugh*) I’m totally happy with it.

It’s a good one. It works.

Yeah! I didn’t want it to have a genre-specific thing with it, too. That’s kind of a tough thing, when there are certain words that just automatically evoke a certain image. I kind of wanted everyone to figure out for themselves what it was about.

And that’s a pretty accurate assessment, I think, in what listeners have to do with the music anyway; figuring out exactly what it is. It’s a tough sound to pigeonhole, because it’s not a traditional punk band but it’s not a traditional rock band…there’s maybe more ‘70s singer-songwriter, Warren Zevon vibe on the album more than anything.

That’s a massive compliment.

I’m glad, because I mean it as a massive compliment, because he’s a favorite of mine. But there’s really not a sound that people can easily peg down, so it’s good that the name kinda makes you dig a little bit too.

That’s probably one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten… None of these songs could be Scandals songs. They couldn’t be forced into that mold, and I don’t think that would be fair to any of us. With that kind of music, it’s easy to tell when something is forced, and I love that band and I love those guys and I can’t just force a record that sounds like everything else.

As a writer, I’ve never been able to totally force songs into molds, and that can be a hard thing about being in a punk band that’s strictly a punk band or a pop-punk band or whatever you want to call it. When you step too far out of that realm, everyone’s like “whoa, what are you doing here?” And that sucks, because a lot of my favorite bands have done that and those are my favorite records, they just became the records nobody really wanted.

Being able to experiment with something fresh where no one knows what it is and there’s no rules and no boundaries, and coming out with a record that has a bunch of things going on with it means that the next one can go in any direction that it needs to go in. And that was important to me. I want to set a foundation to where whatever creatively is going on in our heads, it’s just going to go that way and no one will think that we’re fucking insane. They’ll understand where all the influences are coming from right off the bat. I like that about it. That’s been a refreshing experience…

What’s the feedback been from people that you’ve sent it out to? Between the four of you guys, you know some pretty influential people, what’s the vibe from people that’ve heard it so far?

So far everyone’s been super stoked on it. We did the first round when we finished the masters and sent it to a lot of friends, and I’m at the point where I can take criticism pretty well, but it’s been really fun to hear what everyone’s favorite song or favorite line was. I got to send it to a lot of my songwriter friends, and they’ll pick out a line here and there (that they like) and I’ll be like “shit, thank you!” That’s been really fun, and a lot of them helped in the process too. If I was stuck on a line or two, I’d send out a text and be like “I’m stuck, here’s context…” and it became a fun conversation and back-and-forth. That’s the first time I’ve really been able to do that, so there’s a couple lines on this record where even just one line or word or phrase I was able to get some feedback and bounce around with friends and come up with something cool that fits.

That’s got to be an awesome experience, when there are people that you look upon as influential songwriters and that they’re willing to give you feedback and advice and whatever. That must be pretty awesome.

Totally, I can’t be more grateful for that. It’s kind of what I’ve always tried to strive for with my friends in any aspect, no matter how successful they are or not. All of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written have had other people involved in the writing process and I think that’s something that’s lacking in general in the entire music industry, not just genre-specific. But I think people are afraid to share with other people, and that kinda bums me out.

The fact that we’re in a circle of people who are very open and creative and intelligent, you’ve got to utilize that and help each other grow and help each other get to the next thing. Sometimes you just need someone with a different set of eyes and ears to open your mind to something. That’s definitely an important thing; you can’t sit in the same room in the same chair with the same guitar and keep churning stuff out. You’ve got to see stuff from a different angle. That’s what friends are for!

And you’re putting this album out yourself, you were sort of hinting at that when we started talking. This whole Mt. Crushmore Records thing…that’s you from scratch?

Yeah, that’s me.

Why do that? Which I mean in with all due respect, but that seems like a crazy endeavor at this point.

It’s definitely been wild. We explored some options and they just weren’t right for us. My mom always said that if you want to get something done right, do it yourself. The songs needed to be done justice, and I wanted the release to have as much of that mentality as there was that went into writing it. I was like I’m gonna put this out, I’m going to make it look how I want to look, I want the packaging to be like it is. I want Tito (Belis, PR wizard) and people I trust to help us work on it and enlighten me on how these things go. I want to learn how to do this right and be prepared for whatever comes down the line. I’ve been talking about it for years, to have an outlet for friends to be able to share their music when they can’t get anybody to put their shit out. I have a couple of friends that are going to be working with me on it over the next year when it comes to different releases. I know that if something goes wrong, it’s going to be my fault, and I prefer it that way.

It just seems like an exhausting amount of work, particularly to determine where to start.

Totally.

But I guess if you’re jumping in with both feet, just jump in with both feet.

Yeah, and a big part was that when we put that (last) Scandals record out, we waited so long and some of that was people letting us move along and not always giving us a straight answer, and as a result, we waited too long and it really kinda killed our momentum on the vibe and our passion for the record. As proud as I am about the record, it should have come out way earlier. I didn’t want to do that with this, so I said “if this is going to come out now, I have to do it.” So I bit the bullet and did it.

Did you learn a lot on the fly, when it comes to setting up a label and where to have things printed and how do manage merch bundles and all that?

It’s honestly…I’ve bought enough records in the past and worked with a couple of friends that have done independent records. I helped my buddy out at Skeleton Crew back in the day, and I’ve seen enough of that back end that I thought “yeah, I can figure this out.” And I have enough resources where I was able to call people and say “hey, am I doing this right or am I fucking this up?” The network of friends has been a massive help with this. To streamline it and do it right and get it out in the time that it’s supposed to be out, it took a couple people to facilitate that, so I’m incredibly grateful to them.

I’m excited for people to hear it, and I’m excited to hear other people’s feedback. Like I said, there’s a few songs that I think are right at the top of the list of my favorite Jared Hart songs, and as you know I’ve been a fan of your work for a long time. “Young Dionysians” is an awesome song. “Silver Dollar” is one of my favorites. There’s great stuff on here.

Thank you, that means a lot, especially from someone who has heard a lot of it and seen a lot of it live. I’m hoping to just keep going with it. That’s the main idea, just to keep writing better songs and building on the craft and not just staying stagnant.


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